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Current position of the SSV Corwith Cramer. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the layer tools, top right, to change the map style or to view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

February 20, 2014

S251 Weblog 20 February 2014

Cole Trager, C Watch, Hamilton College

Above: Local school children from Tahuata from their tour of Robert C. Seamans and SEA staff members (left to right) Mackenzie, Julia, Professor Jan, visiting scholar Nanuk. Below, right: The Robert C. Seamans anchored in Tahuata just outside the town of Vaitahu. Taken by Elaine Maskus.

Ship's Log

Current Position
09° 56.1’S x 139° 06.8’W
Course and Speed
Anchored at Tahuata
Sail Plan
Remain anchored until later this evening
Very calm, minimal cloud cover and a light breeze

After our first full day in Tahuata, we were able to visit the town of Vaitahu to experience the island’s rich local culture for ourselves last night. The locals had prepared a massive feast for us, including poisson cru, coconut bread, goat meat, and a variety of other Marquesan specialties. We also had the privilege of watching some school children from the town perform traditional cultural songs and dances and were even able to learn a couple of our own. For me, this was by the far the most immersive connection we have had the opportunity to make with another community and I will continue to cherish this meaningful experience in the future.

Today, we returned to the school to meet the mayor, Felix, and discuss his stance on a series of topics related to our research projects, such as illegal foreign fishing, rising sea levels associated with climate change, agricultural practices, and cultural identity. As a thank you for our gracious welcome to Tahuata, we gave the school a collection of samples we had taken from our oceanography studies, which included small shrimp, siphonophore jellyfish, and a squid. In exchange, each of us was given a beautiful necklace featuring pearls, sea urchin barbs, and gorgeous shells.


After our meeting in the schoolhouse, Felix took us to the town’s church, which was a gift from Nuku Hiva. The structure was magnificent, featuring a stunning central piece of stained glass and open-air walls.

The weather in Tahuata has been very calm and comfortable since we arrived and I will be sad to say goodbye to this beautiful and secluded portion of French Polynesia. The people of Vaitahu have been so accommodating and hospitable, making it even more difficult to leave. However, we will be departing for Fatu Hiva later this evening, which will surely have its own unique wonders to offer.



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